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Genetics and Molecular Biology

Print version ISSN 1415-4757

Abstract

CARVALHO, Bruno Maia; BORTOLINI, Maria Cátira; SANTOS, Sidney Emanuel Batista dos  and  RIBEIRO-DOS-SANTOS, Ândrea Kely Campos. Mitochondrial DNA mapping of social-biological interactions in Brazilian Amazonian African-descendant populations. Genet. Mol. Biol. [online]. 2008, vol.31, n.1, pp. 12-22. ISSN 1415-4757.  http://dx.doi.org/10.1590/S1415-47572008000100002.

The formation of the Brazilian Amazonian population has historically involved three main ethnic groups, Amerindian, African and European. This has resulted in genetic investigations having been carried out using classical polymorphisms and molecular markers. To better understand the genetic variability and the micro-evolutionary processes acting in human groups in the Brazilian Amazon region we used mitochondrial DNA to investigate 159 maternally unrelated individuals from five Amazonian African-descendant communities. The mitochondrial lineage distribution indicated a contribution of 50.2% from Africans (L0, L1, L2, and L3), 46.6% from Amerindians (haplogroups A, B, C and D) and a small European contribution of 1.3%. These results indicated high genetic diversity in the Amerindian and African lineage groups, suggesting that the Brazilian Amazonian African-descendant populations reflect a possible population amalgamation of Amerindian women from different Amazonian indigenous tribes and African women from different geographic regions of Africa who had been brought to Brazil as slaves. The present study partially mapped the historical biological and social interactions that had occurred during the formation and expansion of Amazonian African-descendant communities.

Keywords : African mtDNA; Amazon population; Amerindian mtDNA; HVS-I.

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